Are you thinking of starting a blog? Have you already started writing articles on your site, but according to your analytics, the only folks who have been reading them are search engine bots? It can be tough to put in hours of work into your writing only to find that no one cares.
What gives? Why aren’t people organically finding you on Google?
More than likely, your problem stems from one fatal mistake that a lot of newbies make: You didn’t do any keyword research! Some people dismiss the importance of keyword research when they’re first starting out, but let me tell you that the difference between an article that targets the right keywords and one that doesn’t is massive. We’re talking hundreds, sometimes thousands of times the traffic. You can have these extra visitors with just a few minutes of planning before you write your next blog post.
What is Keyword Research?
If you’re an absolute beginner, you may not know what this is in the first place. Keyword research is a fundamental aspect of running a successful website.
Think of all of the people who search for topics in your niche using Google or other search engines. They are all hungry for the information that you want to provide them, but if you don’t know how they’re searching for information or what words they use to find it, you won’t come up in the results on their Google search page.
This is where keyword research comes in. Using simple tools like Jaaxy, you can find out what people are searching for and cater to their searches by placing specific keywords in your article. To get free, organic traffic from Google, this is simply a must. Maybe in the future, Google will be able to figure out what your content is about without literal keywords, but for now, it’s an important part of the SEO equation.
For example, maybe you run a website in the wedding niche. Let’s say you used a keyword research tool and found that lots of people are searching Google for “advice for newlyweds,” but very few are looking for “how to be a happy newlywed.” Naturally, in this example, you would write an article that made generous use of the phrase “advice for newlyweds” and would avoid low volume keywords that aren’t worth it.
Of course, it’s not entirely that simple, since there are other factors to consider as to whether a keyword is ideal or not. More on that later, though.
Can’t I Just “Wing” It? Is Keyword Research Really That Important?
In a word—yes! If you don’t keep in mind what people are searching for at least to some degree, you’re leaving tons of money on the table. Google can provide you a steady flow of free traffic for years if you take the extra time to find out the exact words people are using to fish for information.
As someone who has never had a website before, you might be tempted to think: “Oh, I know my niche well. I already know what keywords people would use, so I don’t need to do any research.” You are dead wrong. Even if you are very familiar with your niche, you can never predict the weird and varied ways that people search for content—trust me.
You cannot just wing it when it comes to using the right keywords. Even if some of your assumptions were right, there are probably hundreds of other useful keywords that you would never think of without a keyword suggestion tool.
What Are Good Keywords?
Good keywords are basically those that have a high search volume (“high” depends on your goals) and relatively low competition. Competition means basically how many pages come up in the current results on Google for your keyword, and the authority of the sites that show up in those results. In some cases, it will be easy to push the competition down and rank on the first page for a keyword, and in other cases it won’t be as easy.
There are several metrics that come into play here:
- How much Google trusts the sites that are currently in the results. (Authority.)
- How much Google trusts your (This can be influenced by your site’s age, the kind of websites that link to you, and so on.)
- How strongly your competitors targeted certain keywords. (Maybe they didn’t target them on purpose, so the article was not optimized for them. In that case, there could be opportunity for you.)
- How many backlinks your competition has.
- How well optimized for SEO your competition is.
As you can see, this can all be very confusing, especially if you’re new to the game. It can take hours to manually figure out all of these statistics and decide whether you can overtake any of the sites that show up in the current results. It would save you a lot of time if you could just see your chance of ranking at a glance, right?
The Most Important Reasons to Use a Keyword Research Tool
Now you might be starting to see the logic of using tools for keyword research:
1) They save you time.
By far, the biggest benefit is that they simply save you a whole lot of time. Rather than clicking around, trying to analyze every site in the rankings, many keyword research tools let you quickly see whether a keyword is worth targeting or is too competitive. This can be especially important if you don’t know what you’re doing.
2) They can suggest keywords.
You might find that a keyword idea you had won’t work, but that won’t matter so much if your tool can suggest a hundred other phrases. Good keyword research tools will give you tons of suggestions and will offer stats on these keywords so that you can pick and choose which ones will be worth it for you.
3) They show you the search volume.
This is one of the most valuable aspects of a keyword research tool. Without knowing the search volume for a given keyword, you are just taking a shot in the dark! Most quality keyword research tools show you the monthly estimated search volume for a keyword. This will allow you to compare similar keywords in your niche and decide which to target.
4) They can show you which keywords make the most money.
Do you run a website supported by Adsense or another ad network? Many keyword research tools will tell you the estimated cost per click on Adwords for a given keyword. This will help give you a clue as to which topics will be the most lucrative to write about. The more expensive the clicks, the more revenue you are likely to make.
Another confusing part of starting your first website is the sheer amount of keyword research tools available out there. Some of them can be very expensive and not all of them are user-friendly. How do you find one that will fit your budget, is newbie-friendly, and offers reasonably accurate data that you can really use for your business?
Well, Jaaxy is one of the best options out there. It shows you quite a number of stats and offers great keyword suggestions based on your initial ideas.
Best of all, it shows you what your competition looks like at a glance, using a simple red-yellow-green pattern. For instance, if your keyword is going to be really hard to rank, you will see a red dot. Easy ones will be green, and yellow will indicate medium difficulty. This way, you can simply scan the list of keywords and see which ones will take less work to rank. Not only does this save you tons of time and frustration, but it also makes the whole process much simpler.
Jaaxy is pretty affordable, too. It comes with a free trial, so you can try it before you buy it with 30 keywords. To unlock this limit, you do have to sign up as a monthly paying member, but Jaaxy’s prices are actually a lot lower than most other similar keyword research tools. Instead of paying hundreds per month, the lowest tier (which is perfectly adequate for a beginner) is only $19 per month. Try it here for free. Just type in your keywords.
Trying to build a blog without researching keywords first is a waste of time and money, period. If you just want to make a personal site, that’s fine, but if you want a real business with a consistent flow of traffic, then you will need to master this fundamental part of SEO.
It can seem daunting at first if you’ve never done it before, but help is not far away if you become part of the Wealthy Affiliate community or some other Internet business forum. Jaaxy itself offers training on how to use their software, and so do many keyword research tools. There’s really no excuse for not doing your keyword research before you start writing!